Friday, 30 March 2012

Music and Lyrics

I like music. Stupid statement, most of us like music. That's like saying ''I eat meat'', it's only news if you don't. But anyway, as I was saying... I am not one of those people who think that music is their life, but I do enjoy it.

Like Phanee I rarely notice music on TV and in films, but I have this awareness that it is there. And occasionally I will pick up on it, like that one song in Life in a Day, but mostly I don't. A strange thing happened the other day when I was in a shop with my friend and I said, ''this song is in Remember Me''. I wasn't even aware that I recognised it when I watched the film. Oh, and fun fact: My teacher once told me that you will never find any film or TV show which will go more than ten minutes without using any music. Not true. In the episode of Buffy called 'The Body', there isn't a single second of music except for the title sequence. I am so proud of myself for realising this.

As far as my person taste in music goes, I don't really listen to chart music. It's so forgettable, even if it is catchy in the moment. Sometimes I do pick up the odd songs from the charts if they're played around me enough, but usually I stick to originals by YouTubers and songs from before I was even a twinkle in my mother's eye. I do like covers of chart songs too, when they are done acoustically. 

When I was a child I played the recorder, the guitar and the keyboard, but all were dropped pretty quickly. I had lots of hobbies as a child. More recently I attempted the ukulele but once mine went out of tune I couldn't be bothered to sort it out so that was that. More than making my own music, I like to listen to it live. I have been to numerous gigs and concerts (going to more and more every year). They're so much fun and I really love that moment when the artist goes off stage and the audience makes so much noise that it becomes unintelligible, but you can feel it all over your body, shaking your heart almost. So. Good.

P.S. I made a playlist the other day which features the following songs: Barbie Girl, Hey Mickey, Dragostea Din Tei (AKA The Numa Numa song), La Macerena, Poison, Blue and Karma Chameleon. When I mention my playlist, those are the songs which get reactions. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Music makes the world go round...!

Music makes the world go round,
the world go round,
the world go round...

So, this week's theme is music, kindly brought to us by Anne. It is a rather broad subject, which means I will probably have difficulty finding stuff to say.

Anyways... Let's start somewhere.

Just like Anne mentioned in her post on Monday, there are people who don't necessarily notice the background music when they are watching films. I am one of those people. I very rarely notice the music playing in the backround. It might register at the time, but I can never remember anything about it afterwards. But that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it. For me, a good movie sountrack is either very, very unique sounding or blends in with the film. There have been cases (not many, though) where I have been watching a film and the music they decided to accompany a particular scene with just distracted you too much from the scene itself, which I don't think is the point.

That being said, I do listen to many different kinds of music. I can listen to really bad Greek pop to classical music (Anne, you really must explain why it's a misnomer), all depending on the mood I am in at the time. Sometimes I need something to lift my spirits, so I listen to something silly! Other times, I feel like listening to a calmer song and I do just that. There are a few types of music that I really can't stand, though, such as heavy and death metal, but that's mainly because the singers shriek and scream. For me, that's not music. That's just noise. (I'm not saying this to offend anyone. It's just not something I enjoy.)

As for actually being able to play music, I've always been a little bit sad about the fact that I can't. I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but I never actually had any lessons. To be fair, though, we did have a small electric piano thing at home and I did learn how to play a few things on it by myself.... So, I guess it's not that bad! I do want to learn how to play the piano one day... Just for myself.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Story of my life *sarcasm*

So, funny story - I assigned music to talk about this week, and now I'm totally blanking on what to say. *sigh* Stupid blogger's block!

I think part of the problem is that music is such a huge part of my life. My dad is a professor at the local university, teaching Music Theory, so I really can't remember a time when I wasn't involved in something musical. Some of my most annoying memories of my father are of him quizzing me on who wrote whatever piece happened to be on at the time, completely by ear. I learned how to do it pretty well eventually, and I think it helped me as a musician, but it was still annoying.

Now, as a result, my tastes run a little more to the classical (which is a misnomer btw) side. My choice for music while I'm doing anything is generally soundtrack music, mostly because it doesn't have any words to it, but also because I love what that kind of music can do to people. I find it fascinating that many, if not most, people who go to the movies hardly notice the music at all, and yet it is so influential on a subconscious level that viewing the film without any music loses the enjoyment. (Talk about an awkward sentence! I am SO sorry, I'm obviously not at my best at the moment lol) I've done some research on the subject, and I hope to do more as soon as I can find the time.

Otherwise, I'm open to pretty much anything that has a tune I could sing along with. I have a few in just about every genre that I love and will listen to millions of times over. Pretty much everything else I'm okay with until I've heard it about 15 times in a day and then I'm sick of it (sorry, pet peeve on the radio station I'm forced to listen to at work showing there).

Oh, and another thing I love? Finding a song that is just PERFECT for _______. I love realizing that a song and its lyrics exactly describe a situation I'm trying to write, or a ship/fandom that I'm in love with. If I had the talent, I would have a youtube channel full of videos of fanvids, setting clips to my favorite tracks!

There you have it! My life in music =)

P.S. If anyone is interested, the soundtrack for writing this post is "Kayla" [link to a youtube version] from the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine because I have just discovered it through my Pandora and it is SO BEAUTIFUL!

Friday, 23 March 2012


Girls, I promise that I didn't pick this topic to spite you, I just want to holiday soon so I've been thinking back on my previous ones. As Phanee has said before, she can't really recall her childhood, and the same goes for me, my memory is terrible. The only holiday I really remember was my last one from two summers ago.

My mum and I went to Italy (my first time, her second or third). We stayed in Rome for 4 days and Sorrento for 3 days - and I really wish it were the other way round because Sorrento is my favorite place in the world (so far). Rome was stunning but it didn't really live up to the expectations I had of it. Mostly it was just really busy. 

As I said though, we also went to Sorrento and OMSVFTGFBSDCG! I want to go back, but I fear that it's going to way of Benidorm and that would just be so sad (Benidorm was once only a small fishing village, for those of you who didn't know). Sorrento is about an hour outside of Naples, on the coast of Italy and only a short train ride from Pompeii. I can't express to you how gorgeous this town is, but I urge anybody who gets the chance to visit it to do so. There are shops and restaurants in alley ways, there are street performers on the main strip, there are bars and an Irish pub for some reason. It has piazzas with children riding bikes and people shopping. And so many slushies! 

That was a bad description. But you should go. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

I wanna go travelling!!

As Anne also mentioned in her post, Kate definitely picked this subject just to spite us, seeing as none of us cam actually go anywhere right now (not even for a mini-vacation). Anyways... (Just so you know, Katie, this is not compalaning! We love you and I really do like the subject for this week, even though my vacation stories are virtually non-existent.)

The thing with travelling is that I am a horrible traveller. Whether we go by car, by ship, by train or by plane, you can guarantee that (at some point or another) I will get sick. (The woes of a sensitive stomach - not going to analyse it, though, so don't worry!) I love going places and seeing new things, and I have recenty come to the realisation that my stomach is the reason we didn't really go to many places when I was a kid.

We had a big family vacation every year, sometimes in England, sometimes in Greece, but always in the same places, so it's not what you would call very exciting. The first time I went anywhere on my own was this last September, when I went to Rome with one of my friends for 5 days. I had been to Rome before on a school trip, but it just wasn't the same. We ended up having an amazing time and I am hoping that we will be able to go somewhere else together in the future (though not so far in the future)!

I just had a thought, though.... Maybe that doesn't count, as - technically - I wasn't a kid then.... Hmmm... 

Oh, well.... That really is all I can think of... (As you may remember from a previous post, I cannot remember much from my childhood... Sad but true.)

Now, I wanna go travelling again............... 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Let's go on a journey!

I swear Kate picked this week's topic just to spite me. It's been far too long since I've been on vacation, and she wants us to talk about our favorites. Not only will I be sad that I'm not there now, I'll be sad cause I need it so bad!

Anyway, rant out of the way, I have a hard time picking my favorite vacation. We were always traveling when I was a kid, anywhere and everywhere. We never really did recurring vacations anywhere unless it was to visit family. Even so, I loved it! As a kid, I earned the nickname "the go baby" because all you had to do was say "car" and I was headed to the door.

So for me, a favorite vacation is going somewhere new. I love to go somewhere and spend time learning about the local culture and the nearby important sites. It obviously helps if the landscape is beautiful as well, but considering I live in the flattest place in the entire United States, if not the world, that's not all that hard to do.

Following that theme, probably the favorite I've BEEN on was my two week tour of Europe. A friend and I went over our spring break while we were studying abroad in England and went to 6 different countries and 10 different cities in the space of something like 14 days. It was so amazing to visit all the places I'd only heard about in history books, as well as a few I'd only heard of in passing from other travelers. I have about 30 bajillion pictures, some of which I still haven't sorted through, and most of which I can only caption with "I... thought it looked pretty?" because I have NO CLUE what it was.

But, I guess, the important thing about favorite vacations, is that you never settle for what you've already done, at least not for me. I'm always looking for the next vacation. And seriously? It can't come soon enough!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

When I grow up I'm going to be...

First of all, apologies for the late posting. I just forgot. No other excuses can be used.

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a vet. I don't really know what kicked off the urge, but it's one which stuck with me right the way through primary school and high school, at least until I was about fifteen (in my penultimate year).

See, what happened here is that the school librarian told me that I wasn't smart enough for such a career choice. This broke my heart. I mean, while I wasn't the top of the class by any means, I was never getting lower than a B in any of my subjects at the time. I was completely crushed. Then I did a thorough search as the what grades I would need to actually become a vet and I was crushed again, because I really did need to be top of the class to even be considered. 

Quite quickly though, I moved onto the idea of becoming a psychologist, and that is still what I want to do. I am currently in the process of getting into university to get a degree in psychology. There is nothing else I want to do. 

To be perfectly honest, I am not the best person in the world when it comes to psychology, but I love it. Like Phanee said, you should do something that you really love and enjoy, so I am doing. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Growing up

First of all, I know that this post is a day late, but I was in a pretty bad state all day yesterday and didn't go online at all... But I didn't want to not post for a second time, so here is my post of the week!

Secondly, whatever you say, your story is much more interesting than mine!

On to my story now...

The one thing I am absolutely sure about is that I - for one - never, ever wanted to be a ballerina! I had a few girl friends who took ballet lessons, but they all started acting high and mighty after they started taking them. So, my young self associated ballet with pompousness (if such a word exists) and decided on the spot that she NEVER wanted to attend ballet lessons. Growing up, I realised that you can't judge a person just because they took ballet lessons, but then again, I was never really fascinated by ballet.

The only thing that I had ever pictured myself becoming while I was growing up was an English teacher. I always liked doing English homework and writing essays and reading books a lot more than I did with Greek homework. I seriously hated learning English grammar, so I have no idea why on earth I wanted to go to university to learn it all over again, but - to be fair - I was quite young then! I still like English, and I can teach it in an unofficial way (because I have the highest English certificate there is - from both the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan), but I think I'm more of a "speaking and listening" kind-of person, as opposed to a "grammar-Nazi".

The idea for biological research only surfaced in my last year of school. I had always liked biology and chemistry and, during the last year od school, we did some very interesting lessons about genetics: DNA, RNA, proteins, viruses, gene therapies, animal cloning etc. All that stuff just sounded so interesting, that I pretty much decided that I wanted to do something like that... Not necessarily cure cancer or anything like that, but actively doing science-y stuff!

That was 5 years ago. Despite many frustrations I've had over certain aspects of biology, I can honestly say that I have not regretted my decision!

My advice to you? Think about doing something you think you actually like. It will make a big difference if you end up doing a job you actually like! :)

Monday, 12 March 2012

When we were very young

So this week Phanee assigned us "What we wanted to be when we grew up." The sad part? For all I remember about things I did, I don't remember much about what I wanted. I remember wanting to be a ballerina when I was very little because I thought that's what all little girls were supposed to want. I took ballet lessons off and on for many years, but as I never took two years in a row, I got stuck on year one (and took it about 10 times) and eventually decided that wasn't for me.

So then, when I managed several years in a row of figure skating lessons, and got good enough to do several tricks, I decided I would be a professional ice skater. I even went so far as to dress up as a figure skater for career day one year (I think it was third grade).

After that, the next thing I remember is deciding in Junior High (like 13 or 14) that I was going to be a studio musician. Or at least I wanted to work on movie scores. And that got me all the way through college. Not really an interesting story, but that's the part of my childhood that I don't remember. Tune in later this week for the (hopefully more interesting) stories of the rest of us!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Positive about Politics... Mostly

Unlike my fellow PAKter's I am actually rather enthusiastic when it comes to politics - although I will readily admit that this may be down to a lack of education and experience. I am only just old enough to vote in the UK and I was really disappointed when the last General Election came around and I was too young to vote because I really wanted a say. Nonetheless, I took it upon myself to try and learn about politics at the time and what all the parties are about. 

The three major parties in the UK are the Conservatives (who are currently in power as part of a coalition with), the Liberal Democrats and Labor. I believe that Labor has been in power for the entirety of my life, with maybe the exception of the first few years and the present day. This made me resent this party because all I ever heard was that the country was going to sh*t (a charming expression), and obviously I blamed Labor for it. That said, Gordon Brown's speech when he was replaced by David Cameron was so perfect and I would have him back in a second.

What you may have gathered from what I just said is that I do not like David Cameron. That is an understatement. I didn't like anything about the Conservatives anyway but the moment his party decided to remove EMA (money which students are paid weekly when they're 16-18 if they meet conditions set by their schools) and triple university fees, I stared to despise David Cameron and his party. I consider myself a Lib Dem, if anything and I do not like that these two parties are in bed together. 

One thing the UK has which always livens up elections is the Monster Raving Loony Party, where the candidates costumes are just brilliant as you're hearing which party each constituency has elected. I'm not going to go on about this party but if you fancy a few laughs then I urge you to click the link above. 

Every now and then we here about corruption in the government but to be honest the UK really doesn't have it that bad. I like to think of us as that geeky kid in the corner of the room who always knows what is going on but doesn't really show off or do anything to get in trouble - in comparison to some over governments, anyway. One thing I'm thankful for is that despite everything, my country has an NHS and they don't shoot us all down in the streets just for thinking differently from those in charge. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The ruling idiots

It might sound a little harsh, but, in all honesty, I have very little tolerance for politicians. And politics in general.

I remember when I was in school and some of my schoolmates used to talk about the goods of a particular party or the bads of another one. The same thing, but to a greater extent, happened when I was an undgraduate at university. (The way I'm saying it I'm making it sound as if it were ages ago... I only graduated last year.) Especially at uni, people would come up to you and try to tell you absurd things, completely blown out of proportion, just to get you to vote for them in the student elections.

Because I was one of the few people who did not belong to a student political party and was not rude to their faces, telling them to shut up and leave me alone, I used to get into quite a few conversations. All of them inevitably began with them trying to ask me my opinion on something, and proceeded with them trying to make my argument sound stupid and telling me that I should support their opinion. Yep. Exciting stuff...

Going on to the bigger picture, we have country politics. As you may or may not know, Greece is in a pretty bad state financially. The government had to resign and the leading political parties of the Greek parliament (the Democrats and the Socialists) as well as the Radical Conservatives, decided to form an emergency government to get us out of the financial crisis. I don't know how that works exactly, but I am assuming it's all about the face that represents us to the world (and the world was not happy with our former Prime Minister). Which means, that we will probably have to vote for a new government sometime in the near future...

To which I say..... "Not again"

To me, politicians are people who say that they want to help the country and to play a part in getting it out of its dire financial state, but actually end up putting govenment funds into their pockets, sending them to offshore accounts and using up obscene amounts of money to have 5 armed guards and 2 great big 4x4's each, as well as ("supposedly") to help them cope with the stress of running a country. A great big pile of rubbish, if I ever heard any...

Hence, my irritation...

Monday, 5 March 2012

Politics, politics

Honestly? I hate politics. The only reason I assigned it as a topic this week was because I have to vote on Tuesday. Luckily it's only a school levy this time, so it's not particularly complicated.

The big issue coming up in America is the presidential election coming up in November. It's currently March and already the slanderous commercials have shown up on the television. I hate presidential election years, for exactly that reason. Some years it seems like the entire point of election commercials is to see who can hate the other guy more. Why is that what we base our leaders on?

While I don't condone the system, I don't have a better solution. I kind of understand it, because I spent quite a lot of time watching The West Wing. It seemed so much cooler when they did it. I kind of wonder if the politicians would look better if the media (and other politicians for that matter) didn't spend all their time looking for everything the other guys did wrong. I would much rather vote for someone who tells me how they're going to do things than someone who can only say bad things about someone else. I mean, really, how many of us knew that kid in high school that only ever gossiped about everyone behind their backs. Did any of us really like them? Probably not. And yet, that's who we want running our country? Seems backwards to me.

Anyways, that's my rant for the week. Here's to any politician who can figure out how to campaign without mudslinging!

Friday, 2 March 2012

A stupidly long list

One of my favorite quotes is 'Don't live for today, because then you'd be fucking crazy, but live your life like it's a story that you'd want to tell someone' (Philip DeFranco). I think this ought to be my motto because I have always been obsessed with living an interesting life and have been lusting after all of the things which I am about to list below. 

The following list has been compiled over the last few two years or so and has been edited many times since its origin. I'm only going to write the things I haven't done yet. 

  • Swim in the Devil's Pool
  • Climb Mount Kilimanjaro 
  • Get high in Amsterdam
  • Get drunk at Oktoberfest
  • Meet a YouTuber (known for vlogging)
  • Meet a celebrity
  • Volunteer or work abroad
  • Go to university
  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Really travel 
  • Take a picture of the stars
  • Get something published
  • See the 7 wonders of the world
  • Sail down the Nile in a felucca
  • Visit Iguazu falls
  • Hold a sloth 
  • Road trip across America
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Spend Christmas and New Years in New York City
  • Catch a firefly in an old jam jar
  • Travel across a desert
  • See a zoo animal in the wild
  • Fill my travel diary (an old leather-bound thing filled with real parchment)
  • Go to a sweet shop in Japan and try five random sweets
  • Go to Loy Krathong in Thailand
  • Swim in a lake
  • Own a cat or dog for the entirety of its life
  • Visit the fjords in Norway
  • Take a picture of a skyline 
  • Protest
  • Write in The Elephant House
  • Truly help somebody
  • Watch the Superbowl as it should be watched
That is a long list.